Behavioural change experts and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator alumnus Changing Health have partnered with NHS England for the largest ever roll out of free digital support for people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which currently costs the NHS around £8.8 billion a year. With 3.4 million people in the UK living with Type 2 diabetes and an additional 200,000 people being diagnosed every year, the programme will empower hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to live healthier lives.
The partnership will allow the NHS to offer its patients highly personalised support to make positive lifestyle changes and crucially, sustain them over the long term. Changing Health’s online platform will deliver this behaviour change service across the UK. Applying the best in evidence based education with innovative technology designed to provide personalisation at scale.
Once a person has been referred to the programme by their primary care team, they are given access to information and tracking tools online, on their mobile, tablet or PC.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity for NHS England said: “Living with Type 2 diabetes is a daily challenge for millions, as well as a growing issue for our NHS, which is why the Long Term Plan for the health service sets out ambitious, innovative and evidence-backed measures to prevent and manage the condition.
“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes and this online tool helps deliver this as part of our Long Term Plan to tackle major conditions and diseases.
“We are living in an increasingly digital age with people managing most aspects of their life online, the rollout of this programme will give people the opportunity to get support for their Type 2 diabetes online too.”
Seema Kennedy, Public Health Minister said: “There are millions of people with type 2 Diabetes who are at increased risk of heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and ultimately a shorter life. This is preventable, and the new online tool being rolled out on the NHS will offer simple advice on diet, exercise and emotional support that could make all the difference.
“Through our Long Term Plan for the NHS we want to do more to empower people with easy-to-use digital tools and information to take care of their own health – I am delighted that people are already seeing the benefits of this government’s record funding increase to the NHS budget.”
Alan, 71 from Sunderland who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2002 has already benefited from the resource. He said: “When I was diagnosed it was a shock to the system and I didn’t know anything about Type 2 diabetes. I wish that a website like this would have been available for me back then. It’s a really useful tool that I would urge all GPs to recommend to people with the condition.
“My first piece of advice to anyone diagnosed with any form of diabetes is to learn as much as possible about it. This tool is a great way to do that – the more you know, the better you can manage your condition.”
Approximately 10% of health expenditure in England is associated with diabetes, costing around £10bn per year in costs to the NHS, largely due to preventable complications.
The NHS in England is now delivering a range of services to tackle diabetes, including the Diabetes treatment and care programme, and NHS Diabetes prevention programme, which has seen 17,000 people with type two diabetes make significant improvements in their health, including losing a combined 60,000 kilograms.